Despite the inundation of new shoes, bags, jackets, and jewelry to look at, there’s nothing like an inspirational, fantastical, gotta-have-it-now dress to get our credit cards hiding in fear. The spring 2011 runways were chockablock with frocks that rocked, and we’ve revisited our favorite designer shows to pick—in our opinion—the prettiest dresses of the season. The finalists, below.
Let’s start off with the gorgeous goddess gown, shall we? This Chloé goddess dress is all kinds of perfect.
Dolce & Gabbana
With lace, florals, and frills, this Dolce & Gabbana dress could have gone wrong, but somehow it ended up just as fresh as spring dew. We could imagine Carey Mulligan in this.
Galliano always puts a smile on our faces, and this liquid-sunshine Christian Dior gown has us grinning from ear to ear.
Marc Jacobs’ spring collection was super ’70s. This glamorous wine-colored satin dress gives us visions of Bianca Jagger at Studio 54.
This gilded spring Valentino dress is equal parts sweet and glitzy.
We couldn’t resist the rich emerald hue of this spring 2011 Gucci cocktail dress. It reminds us of some chic, exotic bird.
Is this red-carpet ready or what? This Zac Posen gown is sheer drama. Zoe Saldana and Blake Lively will be fighting to wear this one.
Calvin Klein Collection
With so many prints and frills on the spring runway, we were drawn to the incredible simplicity of this understated Calvin Klein Collection dress.
The harness on this fishtail Temperley London gown belongs on a madam in a saloon-town brothel. But maybe we’re just letting our imaginations get away from us.
For everyday dresses, this Carven frock is our top contender. We wonder if Alexa Chung has already placed her personal order yet
Always using a hodgepodge of prints and fabrics, Peter Pilotto is one of fashion’s most adroit mix masters. This sheer dress has the lightness of silk scarves.
Feathers are tough to wear without feeling like an ostrich doing burlesque, but this champagne strapless dress’ length and proportions are so lusciously classy.
Vicky’s got the dress thing down pat, and this long black dress with sleeves and a slit is way sexy for its ilk.
Talk about the perfect day dress. With a lacy bra and a sharp blazer, this has Uptown Girl written all over it.
The length, frills, and patterns makes us want to toss out our NY apartment keys and head for the countryside. So milkmaid chic!
Lanvin’s usually great for flowing, ethereal concoctions, but we haven’t seen a LBD so subversively sexy in a long time.
Sarah Burton payed homage to McQueen’s sensibilities while injecting some movement and fluidity into his high-drama dresses. This was our favorite example of the meshing of the two worlds.
Anyone getting married soon? This twisted goddess dress is made for walking down the aisle.
We couldn’t have a dress roundup without including Chanel. This flirty drop-waist frock updates the ’20s silhouette for the modern woman.